Dear Jean and Joe Average,
Here’s a taboo topic for you: My son, the Little Lion, occasionally bites his sister. So bite me. Does that make me a bad mother? Does that make him a bad little boy? Will we all go to Hell in a pea green boat because my poor little two-year-old is finding it hard to express his very strong emotions in a socially acceptable manner?
It doesn’t happen often, but judging by the reaction from you onlookers, you would think he had just bludgeoned her to death with his “noi”.
Your eyes widen, you gasp and squeal and tut, “Oh my!” and “Oh dear!” and “What will you do with him?” and “What will he be like when he’s older?!”. I don’t know, should I banish him to the desert? Tie his feet to cement blocks and throw him off the pier? Dear God, he may grow up to be a cannibal! Or maybe a vampire! Well, here’s hoping he’ll unleash his fury on you next, you imbecile.
It’s hard enough for me to control my urge to throw LL across the room for hurting my baby Blossom while also dealing with the ache that my first born is so distressed that he has to lash out in this way. So I sure as hell don’t need to hear you judge and label my little boy.
He’s not “A Biter” because he occasionally bites as much as he is not “An Angel” because he occasionally does as he’s asked. He’s not “A Chatterbox” because he enjoys a conversation, he’s not “Gay” because he likes to wear necklaces and carry handbags, and he’s not “Naughty” because he enjoys deliberately defying his mother. He is an average little boy trying to figure out this very confusing world full of terrible, frightening, challenging experiences for which he has not yet learned the coping mechanisms that we grown ups take for granted.
In fact, truth be known, I sometimes wish I could turf the stupid social filters that make me suppress my more animal urges. It would be wildly satisfying to bare my teeth, snarl and lunge at you self-righteous turds as you tut ruefully at the little mark on Blossom’s arm.
I won’t bite him back, I won’t wallop him and I won’t publicly humiliate him. You do what you like with your kids. I’m dealing with “this issue” my own way – my son will know his boundaries, he will feel safe enough to express his emotions freely, and he will have healthy strategies to cope with difficult feelings (rather than being forced to repress them and later stifle them with addictions of one kind or another) and he will know that he is loved no matter what.
These are big, hard lessons to learn and they will take some time. In the meantime, you can fuck right off with your suggestions.
With mildly masked disdain,